LOS ANGELES, CA – On this week’s UFC TONIGHT, we have analysis, breakdowns, and predictions of the epic UFC 158: ST-PIERRE VS DIAZ card. Plus, Chael Sonnen has a response to Jon Jones’ recent tweets and much more.
Quote of the Week: UFC TONIGHT’s Kenny Florian on Georges St-Pierre could lose to Nick Diaz: “A great wrestler like GSP will grind an opponent down, but I don’t think there’s anyone who can grind down Nick Diaz. There are two ways you lose to a Diaz brother: If you’re not disciplined, and if you try to brawl with them – that is, stand in front of them – if you do that, Nick Diaz will destroy you.”
UFC TONIGHT’s Chael Sonnen on St-Pierre’s advantages over Diaz: “A lot of people largely favor Nick Diaz should they stand on their feet and trade punches. I think Georges St-Pierre is a phenomenal kick boxer. He’s got a lot of set-ups. He’s actually got a longer reach of the two. He’s got a height disadvantage, but a reach advantage. I’m not sure if that’s going to be totally true if they stay on their feet. I think Georges is a little bit quicker.”
Florian on how St-Pierre can beat Diaz: “The way you beat Nick Diaz is to outwrestle him. Diaz was actually making a great play out there when he was talking about how he doesn’t want to take people down or lay top of them the way GSP does. He’s trying to bait Georges into brawling with him, into fighting his style. That’s something that Nick Diaz has done very well for several years now.”
Sonnen on St-Pierre reacting to the trash talking of Diaz: “It looks as though Georges is falling for it a little bit. Georges is getting very angry here. This is the first opponent Georges has ever called out. As a champion, he usually just sat back and took whatever came his way. Now he’s calling Diaz out. He’s upset. He will stipulate to the fact that he’s angry. He will admit that, he will tell people that. Is this going to be a problem?”
Florian picks St-Pierre over Diaz: “Nick Diaz is my favorite fighter, as far as excitement. He always delivers. But Georges St-Pierre has the perfect game to beat Nick.”
Sonnen picks St-Pierre over Diaz: “Put me down for the current champion. I think he leaves with the title. This is going to be a war. This is a fight that they both want. This isn’t about rankings, this isn’t about titles, this is about respect and it’s going down Saturday night.”
Florian on Carlos Condit vs. Johny Hendricks: “This is a very interesting clash of styles. Johny Hendricks, a very high-level wrestler, is knocking guys out with that left hand. You know the left hand is coming and he still knocks you out. He’s deceptively fast and he can always rely on that wrestling background. In case that striking doesn’t work against a high-level striker like Carlos Condit, he can always take him down and win exactly like Georges St-Pierre did.”
Sonnen picks Johny Hendricks over Carlos Condit: “I’m going to take Hendricks for the decision. He’s in an upward swing. Condit is coming off a heartbreaking loss to Georges St-Pierre.”
Florian picks Carlos Condit over Johny Hendricks: “I’m going to go with the upset. Condit is going to take this one by decision.”
Sonnen picks Ellenberger over Marquardt: “I think whatever you say about Marquardt, you could say about Jake. On paper they’re really similar. Jake’s got a little more power. Marquardt’s got a little more speed. Marquardt’s been away from the Octagon, he hasn’t left MMA – he’s a Strikeforce champion – but he has been away from the Octagon and I’m choosing Ellenberger.”
Sonnen, on if he was Junior dos Santos, why he’d rather fight Mark Hunt over Alistair Overeem: “Look back at Hunt’s record, over the last 24 months, the only two losses he has is against Jenny Craig and a treadmill. I like Hunt and right now he’s red hot, and I like anybody who steps up to a challenge. Let’s be fair: Nobody wants to fight Junior dos Santos. You take that fight when you have to fight him. Hunt raised his hand, he volunteered, he got on the phone with Dana White and he said, ‘put me in coach’ and I love it.”
Sonnen on what he thinks about Jon Jones’ recent tweets: “I think this: Jon, stop tweeting. Stop trying to be me. It makes you appear stupid and just gives me material to ridicule you with. If Jon Jones, a potted cactus and a slice of pizza from my oven were all on Jeopardy, Jon Jones would not make the final round. On a lighter note, Jon, you had another baby, in all seriousness, congratulations. By this time next year you’ll be the Octomom of the Octagon.”
UFC TONIGHT Insider Ariel Helwani on an upcoming heavyweight fight: “There’s a huge heavyweight fight taking place on June 8 in Brazil. It’s the main event of UFC ON FUEL TV 10. It’s Antonio Rodrigo Nogueria versus Fabricio Werdum and they are the coaches for TUF Brazil 2.”
Helwani on Chris Leben’s next fight: “He’ll be fighting at UFC 162 versus Andrew Craig on July 6 in Las Vegas.”
UFC TONIGHT is the official weekly news and information show of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. The show is co-hosted by veteran UFC fighter and multiple title contender Kenny Florian and UFC light heavyweight contender Chael Sonnen. Leeann Tweeden contributes, while three-time World MMA Awards Journalist of the Year Ariel Helwani adds insider news.
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